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Article 12

Sponsored by: CANAL D

North american Premiere

  • Documentary
  • /
  • U.K. / Argentina
  • /
  • 2010
  • /
  • 75 min
  • /
  • HD
  • /
  • English with French subtitles
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Official Selection, Locarno International Film Festival 2010

Screening Times

“An antidote to cultural catastrophe” — Nadia Pittà, TICINO LIBERO

“Tells it like it is: ‘Quit spying on us’” — Mariarosa Mancuso, FOGLIO QUOTIDIANO


Director: Juan Manuel Biaiñ
Screenplay: Juan Manuel Biaiñ
Cast: Noam Chomsky, Brian Eno, Dr. David Murakami Wood, Amy Goodman, Kate Gilmore
Producers: Juan Manuel Biaiñ, Lawrence Stolzenberg, Tony Tabatznik
Print Source: Junco Films

Part of...

Documentaries From The Edge   

Documentaries From The Edge

Screens with...

What's Up?   

What's Up?

2011 | 8 min
English language



The world imagined by George Orwell in his most influential novel, 1984, may be closer to our own than we think. In this era filled with orbital satellites powerful enough to locate any individual on Earth, the idea of a private life is crumbling, becoming more of a concept than reality. Officially speaking, this use of advanced technology provides security to Western civilization through constant surveillance — for instance, it would be impossible to abandon a briefcase in downtown London without it being spotted by a camera and subsequently picked up by the authorities. However, even if the means undertaken to maintain order are justified, it doesn’t negate the existence of ulterior motives that also have an impact on our daily lives. In fact, what is supposed to be a society of surveillance is in reality one of control, the camera pointed both inside and out. In the name of our own safety, the State has the power to follow every step we take in any given city, to gain access to our entire banking history and ultimately construct a profile of our most intimate selves.

Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” Camera in hand, director Juan Manuel Biaiñ investigates the sanctity of this fundamental right with his fact-filled documentary ARTICLE 12. His findings prove troubling, going as far as exceeding the fears expressed in 1984. Through testimonies from a variety of activists and popular thinkers like Noam Chomsky and Brian Eno, he underlines our vulnerability in the face of this gradual disappearance of our private lives. No detail is overlooked as the filmmaker seeks to uncover the truth at any cost. This doesn’t mean that ARTICLE 12 is a mere editorial commentary. Heir to the dedicated Argentinean documentarians, Biaiñ is a natural born revolutionary, making a film offering possible solutions to this planetary crisis that threatens our eventual annihilation. Crafty reenactments show us that the power of a fit of rage is enough for individual citizens to make a change. ARTICLE 12 is a necessary undertaking. To see it is a responsibility.

—Simon Laperrière (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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